Bears Advance To SUNYAC Title Game
BROCKPORT.- In a game that came down to the final seconds, the SUNY Potsdam men's basketball team (20-6) finished off the win over the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons (19-7) by a 75-72 score in the SUNYAC Semifinals. Senior captain Jayquan Thomas (Hollis, N.Y./Richmond Hill) tied his season-high with 27 points. Senior captain Danny Delsol-Lowry (Queens, N.Y./Queens High School of Teaching) and sophomore forward Isaiah Brown (Westside Queens, N.Y./Nia Prep) scored 17 points each. Delsol-Lowry opened the scoring for the Bears with a 3-pointer from the right corner. For Oneonta, Ian Schultz got the team on the board with a layup in transition. The Bears held a slight advantage until 10:48 when Kevin Mackin's three gave Oneonta a 15-14 lead. Freshman center Tyrese Baptiste (Brooklyn, N.Y./Eagle Academy II) answered quickly for the Bears as he drilled his own three from the top of the key. After the two teams battled back and forth, back-to-back layups from Thomas and Delsol-Lowry forced an Oneonta timeout at 6:24 with Potsdam up 28-23. Out of the timeout, Mackin connected on his third shot from behind the arc. The shot was the start of a 9-2 run, capped off by a fast break layup by Kameron Hickey. After a Bears timeout, Brown put the Potsdam back on top with a turnaround jumper, followed by a layup. After the teams traded baskets, Deegan finished a layup with four seconds left. The teams went back into the locker room knotted at 36. Deegan opened the second half by completing a three-point play early. The two teams battled back and forth as they traded leads. The teams were tied 50-50 with 12:14 remaining. The Bears maintained a slight edge over the next few minutes, gaining a five-point lead after a jumper from Thomas. Trombley's three from the top of the key brought the Red Dragons to within two (67-65) at 3:48. After Delsol-Lowry and Thomas made three of the next four shots from the line, Potsdam led 70-65. Andres Rivera finished a reverse layup with just over a minute left to get Oneonta within three. After a timeout, Thomas finished inside to keep the Bears in the driver's seat. Oneonta answered with a Rivera dunk. Out of another timeout, Dylan Trombley got a steal and dished it to Mackin who sank his fifth three of the game to make it 74-72 with nine seconds left. The Red Dragons intentionally fouled senior captain Aaron Armstrong (Lisbon, N.Y./Madrid-Waddington) three seconds later and he hit one of two. With one second left, the Golden Eagles were fouled but were unable to cut down the late deficit as Deegan missed the front end of a one and one. Baptiste ripped down the rebound and time expired. Baptiste finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds for this 15th double-double of the season. He also blocked four shots. Armstrong scored his only point in clutch time and grabbed nine rebounds and passed out four assists. Rivera had a team-high 16 points for Oneonta and pulled down 10 rebounds. Mackin added five 3-pointers for 15 points on the night. Deegan finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. Potsdam shot 45.3 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from behind the arc, while Oneonta shot 41.4 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from deep. Potsdam has won 12 SUNYAC Championship (1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1986, 1987, 2004, 2005), including six tournament titles. (1980, 1983, 1986, 1987, 2004, 2005). The Bears are 6-5 all-time in the conference title contest. Potsdam faces top seed and host Brockport, an 82-67 winner over fourth seeded Oswego State, at 4 p.m. in tomorrow's championship. The Bears and Golden Eagles have met once in the SUNYAC Final, with Potsdam claiming the 84-76 victory in 2004.